Derrick was more than happy to take the offer. He knew full well that Brigand's request would probably be farfetched, but there was way more to gain than to lose. With the system, he would be able to take all the information and use it as he pleased. It was a no-brainer.

After the agreement was reached, Derrick began planning his schedule. Since everything in Akata could be taken care by Lacha, he didn't have to worry. The only thing he would have to do is attend the opening ceremony of the forge, and then he could leave in the evening. He didn't intend on staying in Terra for more than 2 days.


The ceremony had gone well and was received with a thunder of applause. Everyone could finally see things coming to fruition. After a few talks here and there, Derrick had taken off during sundown. After all the light was snuffed out by the horizon, the starry sky had welcomed him. All the stars and their brightness had greeted him and it looked absolutely amazing. One could even say that he was entranced by it.

Meanwhile, Io flew at his highest speed yet. He looked way more comfortable flying during the night, which made sense. Derrick was also glad that he had left at this hour. Without any sunshine, the farmers wouldn't be able to identify him in the thick darkness.

After flying the same itinerary for a few hours, they finally arrived above Terra's land, and it looked even more imposing than during the day. On the ground were thousands and thousands of light spots that were either powered naturally, or by magic.

He managed to find the same lake he had dived in, but decided to discreetly land instead. He had had enough once. Donning his signature black cloak, he proceeded on the same dirt road that led to the city walls.

The calm of the night was something that really soothed Derrick. No matter how he wanted to change his past habits, being able to think alone was something he still deeply cherished.

After walking a few paces, he saw a carriage coming in his direction and waved at it. Brigand had already arranged everything to prevent any mishaps from occurring. The chauffeur was a middle-aged man with gray hair and sharp features, similar to the butler he had had during the auction. He was also well-dressed.

"Sir Tarlin?"


"Please come aboard"

When he was about to open the carriage's door, all of his internal alarms went off. Without pausing a beat, every muscle fiber in his body worked in tandem and made his body subconsciously dart backwards.


From the corner of his eye, he saw a small blue blade zip through the air in his previous location. Just like him, the figure manipulating it was cloaked and was of an agility rarely seen. However, Derrick instantly recognized it.

"Alma, is this how you greet a friend?"

With a condescending laugh, he looked at her and winked. This made the elf seethe to no end. This fellow had shamed her in front of her Master, and she wanted him to pay for his insolence. Elves were, after all, arrogant creatures.

Meanwhile, during the altercation, the chauffeur had almost panicked and ran off, but calmed down after finding out that there was no threat to his life.

"Fight me! If you win fair and square, I'll never bother you again!"

The elf was so enraged that the only thing she came up with was a challenge. She had squandered the opportunity to sneak on him and knew that she stood no chance if he used his spells.

On top of everything, the road was deserted, which made for a good arena.

"That's it? Well... I haven't moved in a few hours, it'll be a good warm up"

Arrogant, overconfident, cocky... These were all the terms that swarmed Alma's mind. This motherfucker was going to beg her for mercy! She was an assassin, and a respected one at that! She was feared and not some toy that could be easily dismissed.

"Well now, come"

Derrick continued his taunts, and before he knew it, the elf had vanished from her spot. His smirk disappeared and he grew serious. He could easily defeat her by using his summons, but that would be way too lame. Plus, he had grown much stronger since the last time they had met.

He closed his eyes and tried to locate her. Using his vision was pointless, so he tried sensing her instead.


He could faintly hear her steps and it gave away a vague position, which wasn't enough.

"Come on... You've survived in a dark cave for months... Don't tell me you'll be beaten by some elf brat"

He pumped himself up and unleashed his vicious and cold aura. He was going to make her bend to his will. When it reached her, Alma's blood went cold and fear invaded her. It was the same sensation she had felt in the room, except magnified. The bastard had already grown stronger!?

Nevertheless, she refused to give up. If she failed here, she wouldn't have another chance. This was unacceptable.

After breaking through the fear that tried to submerge her, she pounced in the direction of Derrick. She was determined to beat him with her superior speed.

20 meters... 15 meters... 10 meters... 5 meters...

She was in range. She was going to win! Her heartbeat was frantic, and she hadn't felt this alive in years. However, when she was about to reach him, he opened his eyes and her entire body went limp. What she saw... was death. Eyes so cold that ice paled in comparison and a smile so wicked that death row inmates looked like angels. He was the messenger of Death.

With her momentum, she arrived in Derrick's embrace. While tightly holding her, he whispered in her ear.

"Thank you for the little spar. Don't worry about the result, I won't talk about it. You're strong and an asset. I meant it when I said Brigand was lucky to have you"

He reigned in his aura and everything went back to normal. Before letting her go, he gave her a little hug and went to the carriage. They promptly left, leaving behind a stunned and shivering Alma.

It had been the first time she had contemplated death, and it had shaken her deeply. She had been totally defenseless, like a fawn in front of a monster. After controlling her body, she gritted her teeth and clenched her fist. She had been complacent and Derrick had shown her that there was something beyond her current level.

This time, instead of rage, there was a newfound respect. She was proud to have lost to such a powerful individual.


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